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Shake-up of judges for PM’s Literary Awards

24 May 2014 138 views No Comment

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has announced a radical shake-up of the judging panels for the nation’s richest book prizes, the $600,000 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

The nonfiction and history panels will be chaired by conservative commentator Gerard Henderson. He will be joined by former politician and editor Peter Coleman, who is Peter Costello’s father-in-law, Ross Fitzgerald, a professor of politics and history, Ida Lichter and Ann Moyal.

The fiction and poetry panels will be chaired by publisher Louise Adler, who published Mr Abbott’s political memoir. She will be joined by Margie Bryant, Jamie Grant and poets Les Murray and Robert Gray.

The appointments are sure to raise eyebrows because of the generally conservative stripe of judges. No previous judges from the five-year-old awards were reappointed.

Mr Abbott announced the judges after attending the Australian Book Industry Awards in Sydney, where a rumoured author protest did not eventuate.

The Prime Minister said he was committed to “the miracle of the book and was confident Australian publishing and book selling would survive the present “tough times.

Stephen Romei, The Australian, May 23, 2014, 10pm

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